HELLO, I’m back. Today marks the start of my third year writing Flashback Thursday. Thanks to everyone who has contributed and given me positive feedback since I started way back in 2017.

This week I am going to be a bit self indulgent. On Saturday, January 5, 1974 a television programme began which would change kids TV forever. Billed in the TV Times as Today Is Saturday, the programme featured local news presenter Chris Tarrant and unknown John Asher. It was a linking segment between old Tarzan films and cartoons.

The programme continued to grow and became known as Tiswas.

The usually quiet studio became a zoo where children were pulled up by their ears, a black masked character called the Phantom Flan Flinger ran amok with his custard pies, and the parents of the studio kids were locked in a cage for two hours and pelted with water.

In 1977, Chris was joined by Sally James. Sally had been presenting a children’s programme in London when ATV bosses spotted her potential. The national press had started to notice Tiswas and gradually the series budget increased and became networked across the UK.

By 1979, the chaos was out of control. Bob Carolgees had brought along his spitting dog and coughing cat, Lenny Henry was interrupting proceedings with his impressions of Trevor McDonald and David Bellamy, the Phantom continued to strike from nowhere and Frank Carson just used to turn up unannounced and tell jokes!

I was pretty young when Tiswas was broadcast, but something in me went on to discover it in later years. People often say what do I like about Tiswas. I think it was the complete unscripted chaos, and the way Chris and Sally spoke to the kids on their level.

In 2007, ITV invited me to a recording of Tiswas Reunited, a show to mark 25 years since the last show, number 302 was broadcast. After the recording I went to an after-show party and it was the first time I’d met Chris and Sally.

The Gazette featured many of my Tiswas projects. Here are some of my memories.